Where’s Brad Johnson?


Looks like the Montana Republican Party is rolling over for gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte.

There’s a lot of hoopla surrounding Gianforte (finally) announcing his bid for governor. Very little mention of Brad Johnson, though. A current Republican PSC commissioner and former secretary of state, Johnson announced an exploratory bid back in May of 2015.

The Billings Gazette says that Johnson will face off against Gianforte in the June 2016 Republican primary but a visit to the Montana Secretary of State’s candidate filings and Johnson is nowhere to be found. Then again, neither Gianforte nor Bullock show up either.  Maybe they’re all just late with the paperwork.

I was hoping for a spirited Republican primary with Johnson as the more, and I use this term loosely, moderate party insider against the way-out-in-right-field outsider Gianforte.

But money talks. A quick look at the campaign reports at the commissioner of political practices’ office has Johnson raising zero dollars in the quarter ending September, 2015 (the latest quarter filings through December, 2015, aren’t online yet). An earlier filing shows Johnson with $1013.74 in the bank. The Gazette reports that Gianforte has raised more than $300,000. Yikes!

Is Johnson D.O.A.? Maybe the Republican Party will keep him around so that Gianforte can raise money in both the primary and general elections. Time will tell.

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About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

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Pogo PossumHighPointptalbotDon PogrebaTim in MT Recent comment authors
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Tim in MT
Tim in MT

Since you can’t even get the month of the primary right, I won’t tell you why he’s really running. But ask your friend Don, he helped Brian Schweitzer to the tune of $650k in ’08 the same way with his “primary.”

Don Pogreba

Are you suggesting that Brad Johnson is running a sham campaign to help Greg Gianforte raise money? Wow. You should call the press.

You also know, I assume, that Governor Schweitzer had another primary opponent in ’08, making your specious claim against me untrue, right?

Sad to see such hostility paired with such low information.


A few months ago, Brad Johnson was the keynote speaker at the Park Electric Cooperative annual meeting. The Livingston Enterprise did not even bother to cover his appearance.

Pogo Possum
Pogo Possum

Pete, comparatively speaking, Johnson’s fundraising is doing fairly well. Brad isn’t very far behind the total $2,020 that Don Progreba raised in his entire Governor’s race in 2008. While Don spent the bulk of his Campaign War Chest on his filing fee, I noticed he also paid Liquid Web, an out of state company (headquartered in Lansing, Michigan), for his web hosting and paid another out of state company Graphicsland, Inc (headquartered in Tinley Park, IL) for graphic and printing work. (Montana C-5 Report May 25 to June 18, 2008) Guess Don didn’t believe in Montana web hosting or graphics… Read more »

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